'A hand up, not a hand out'
PAXINOS - Sometimes, when you want to reach those in need, you have to make yourself known.
Bonnie Alleman, coordinator of the "Open Arms Outreach," had that thought when she attended the "Talent Showcase 2013" on Sunday, Oct. 19, at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center in Shamokin. She saw the community come together and help several organizations receive much needed donations.
"After attending the showcase, we thought we could use a little help," Alleman said. "We just want people to know that we are here."
Open Arms is located in the Ark of Faith building at the Oak Grove United Methodist Church at 133 Oak Grove Road, just off Marley Road.
The outreach began approximately six years ago helping a larger outreach organization distribute toiletries, detergents and paper products, which cannot be purchase with food stamps. Open Arms is still in its first year on its own. The outreach has grown and added food items to its pantry.
Open Arms and Oak Grove Church are different because they believe in "a hand up, not a hand out," Allman said. Each person who receives from Open Arms is expected to volunteer six hours within one year.
Patrons of Open Arms can do their volunteer work in several ways.
"They can either attend our church or our pastor's other church, help with projects or volunteer at the outreach," Alleman said.
Rev. Zachary Hopple is the pastor of Both Oak Grove and First United Methodist Church, Sunbury and Ninth streets in Shamokin.
Bonnie Alleman, along with her husband, Roger, and Cindy Mervine, Jean Spangenberg and David Phillips distribute items on the first and third Friday of each month.
Alleman is thankful for the support she gets from the Ralpho Business Association, Weis Markets, Pepsi Co. and the Hinkle Corporation.
"Again, we just want people to know we are here and this is another place where they can donate," Alleman said.
For more information, to donate or volunteer, call Bonnie at 570-898-9093.